Muay Thai is known as the “Art of 8 Limbs,” referring to the pairs of hands, elbows, knees, and feet that we can use to systematically break down our opponents.
As a competitive fighter, I jokingly referred to Muay Thai as the “Art of 7 Limbs,” as on any given day I’d have a small to moderate injury somewhere on my body that limited my ability to train or perform.
If you are training hard and training consistently, it is inevitable that at some point you will take some damage. It might be a toe, a wrist, an elbow, or a knee, and it may compromise your ability to fully participate in class or sparring.
Adjustments can always be made. Can’t kick? Knee. Can’t punch? Elbow. Can’t jump rope? Shadowbox. Can’t stand up because you got your legs kicked to death in sparring? Stay home, learn to check a kick, and come back in a few days 🙂
By no means should injuries be normal. It is our job to train as hard as we can within the boundaries of what’s safe and adaptable. But despite all the safety talks, all the protective gear, all the best practices, things will eventually happen.
Point is, take advantage of the opportunities to focus on other things while you allow yourself to heal. If you pull back from training any time there is a small injury, it can often be a two steps forward, one step back process that really doesn’t get you very far.
Remember: we are not just training to improve our martial arts and fitness, we are training to maintain our positive habits. It’s not necessarily the quality of any individual training session that defines the value of your training, but rather the consistent accumulation of training days over time that get you where you want to be.
Every once in awhile, you may have to switch from the “Art of 8 Limbs” to the “Art of 7 Limbs” — and that’s ok. Just do the best with what you have on any given day!
The coaches here can always help you adjust your training if need be. That’s what we’re here for.